In a speech yesterday, Theresa May has called for an end to social housing 'stigma' as she pledged £2bn for new homes.
Speaking at a National Housing Federation summit, Ms May said housing associations have a central role to play in building homes and challenging attitudes about social housing. She also called for a change in attitudes towards affordable and social housing, saying: “For many people, a certain stigma still clings to social housing.
“Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority.
“And on the outside, many people in society – including too many politicians – continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home.
“I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home… Our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens.”
This news resonated with me today as last week I attended the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) event about the Social Housing Green Paper which was described as a “new deal for social housing” and sets out a “vision which values and respects the voices of residents, with landlords treating them with decency and respect, backed up with clear consequences when they do not”.
This green paper, which was developed in a very different way to previous housing policy documents as the housing minister actually went out to talk to social housing tenants about what they wanted, is underpinned by the following five principles:
- A safe and decent home which is fundamental to a sense of security and our ability to get on in life;
- Improving and speeding up how complaints are resolved;
- Empowering residents and ensuring their voices are heard so that landlords are held to account;
- Tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities, challenging the stereotypes that exist about residents and their communities; and
- Building the social homes that we need and ensuring that those homes can act as a springboard to home ownership.